What is bullying?

Bullying is defined as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act(s) or conduct, including electronic communications committed by a pupil(s) that has, or can be reasonably predicted to have, the effect of one or more of the following: 

  1. Reasonable fear of harm to person or property.
  2. Substantially detrimental effect on physical or mental health.
  3. Substantial interference with academic performance.
  4. Substantial interference with the ability to participate in or benefit from school services, activities, or privileges.

Examples of Bullying

Bullying can be manifested in a variety of forms that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Physical bullying includes, but is not limited to, intentional, unwelcome acts of beating, biting, fighting, hitting, kicking, poking, punching, pushing, shoving, spitting, tripping.
  • Social or relationship bullying includes spreading rumors, manipulating relationships, exclusion, blackmailing, isolating, rejecting, using peer pressure and ranking personal characteristics.
  • Malicious teasing among individuals who are not friends with the intention of invoking, harm, fear or intimidation.
  • Malicious teasing among individuals based on any member of the above listed “protected class.”
  • Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited, bullying through messages, texts, sounds or images. Sending or posting of unwanted comments, images, videos, and pictures that are done to intentionally harm or bully a student (whether it is based on protected class or not).
  • Cyber sexual bullying/harassment includes when a student recipient receives an image and then shares that image to other students through text message, social media, or other electronic means, this is deemed to be cyber sexual bullying/harassment.
  • Hazing includes, but is not limited to, requiring a student to eat or drink disgusting food/material, endure physical abuse, or engage in physically dangerous or humiliating activities as an initiation to join a student club or team.

How Can Parents Help?

Our schools work with parents so that our students are safe and happy at school.  There are several warning signs that could indicate that your child is experiencing bullying at school.  Please be on the alert for:

  • An unexpected drop in grades and/or interest
  • Unusual moodiness, depression, anxiety, or crying
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches
  • Loss of appetite or Trouble sleeping
  • Damaged or missing clothing, books, or other belongings
  • Unexpected bruises, cuts or scratches
  • Few or no friends to spend time with
  • Fear of going to school, riding the bus or walking to school
  • Taking an illogical or long route home

Additional Resources: Bullying and Harassment - What To Do When It Happens.

Translated Copies of Board Polices

Translation Available Upon Request


Traducción Disponible Bajo Petición

For a translated copy, please contact Office of Family Voice at 415-241-6150  

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Uniform Complaint Procedure

SFUSD encourages parents to contact their principal to address immediate concerns of bullying.  If you wish to file a complaint with the District Office, please do so by filling out a Uniform Complaint Form. For more information regarding the Uniform Complaint process, please refer to SFUSD's Uniform Complaint Procedure page. 

View Uniform Complaint Procedure Page